Belfast Telegraph

Philomena Lee positive for Oscars

Philomena Lee has revealed her excitement for the Academy Awards.

The real-life inspiration behind Stephen Frears' Oscar-nominated drama Philomena, who's portrayed by Dame Judi Dench on screen, will walk up the red carpet in Hollywood on Sunday (March 2) alongside Hollywood stars such as Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale.

"I'm looking forward to it, but so excited. Never in my life did I think I would end up at the Oscars," she said at the Oscar Wilde: Honouring The Irish In Film party in Los Angeles.

"We can't believe how it's taken off and how I've been thrown into the middle of the world. It's fantastic and I'm enjoying it. (I'd like to meet) Tom Hanks. Everybody else I've met really," she added.

The film, adapted from Martin Sixsmith's book by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, is up for four Oscars including best picture, best adapted screenplay and best actress for Judi. It won best adapted screenplay at the Baftas.

"Fingers crossed. Everything crossed, and praying they will win something," said Philomena. "I was so excited for them at the Baftas. They did a wonderful job, transferring it from the book to the film."

Irish band The Strypes and Irish footballer Robbie Keane also attended the bash, where comic actor Joel McHale presented Conan O'Brien with the Oscar Wilde award.

"Conan asked me to do it after a number of people turned him down, so I thought I'm not busy tonight and I like making fun of him," he joked, before adding: "It was an honour. It means a lot to me. To introduce someone I had grown up with, I thought, 'This is great. I get to roast him in front of Irish people'."

The event, now in its ninth year, was hosted by the US-Ireland Alliance.

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